Assessing Abiy Ahmed, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

The record of Ethiopia’s prime minister remains incomplete, at home and abroad

10/13/2019 2:46:00 AM

The Nobel prize will be a boost for Ethiopia's prime minister, who faces a national election next year

The record of Ethiopia’s prime minister remains incomplete, at home and abroad

THERE ARE two types of Nobel Peace Prize winner. The uncontroversial ones are often campaigners, such as Nadia Murad (who won last year for her work highlighting rape during war) or the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (which won in 2013). The controversial ones are often the politicians who actually negotiate peace deals—think of Yasser Arafat or F.W. de Klerk. Politics in violent places is a nasty, messy affair, and peace deals don’t always last. The award of the prize on October 11th to Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, will spark more debate than most.

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On the plus side, Abiy has tried hard to be a unifier since he took office last year. He often uses the Amharic word medemer (to add together) in speeches. Millions of Ethiopians have welcomed his promises of democracy, reconciliation and reform in a country that had long been oppressed.

Get our daily newsletterUpgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor's Picks.In June 2018 he signed a historic peace deal with Eritrea, a smaller neighbour that seceded from Ethiopia in 1993. The accord brought to a close two decades of pointless conflict over a scrap of barren land. The war had led to tens of thousands of deaths, ripped apart families and severed the deep ties of blood, culture and language between the two countries.

Abiy broke the deadlock by promising to withdraw from the disputed territories, thus implementing the findings of a UN commission that Ethiopia had long rejected. He also took advantage of his close relationship with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, whose financial largesse may have helped nudge Issaias Afwerki, Eritrea’s president, to the negotiating table. After the peace agreement, families and friends were reunited and cross-border trade flourished.

Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee’s chair, said the prize recognised Abiy’s “efforts to achieve peace and international co-operation, and in particular his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”. He has also been praised for helping to mediate a power-sharing accord between pro-democracy protesters and a military junta that took power earlier this year in Sudan.

But the peace he forged with Eritrea is far from complete. In early 2019 Eritrea once again closed all its border crossings with Ethiopia. A trade agreement drafted by Ethiopian negotiators has gathered dust in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, for almost a year. Physical demarcation of the border, the trickiest part of the deal, has not begun: the disputed areas remain under Ethiopian administration.

The lack of progress highlights some of Abiy’s shortcomings as a peace-broker. Ahmed Soliman of Chatham House, a think-tank in London, notes his reliance on “charm and bold personal initiatives” at the expense of institutions. He bypassed Ethiopia’s foreign ministry to strike his deal with Issaias (the details of which were never made public). And his attempts to foster goodwill between Kenya and Somalia, which are embroiled in a spat over their maritime border, as well as between warring factions in South Sudan, have yet to show results.

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The prime minister’s record as a peacemaker in Ethiopia is also worryingly mixed. He has released political prisoners and promised fair elections. But he has failed to keep order. In 2018 almost 3m Ethiopians were forced from their homes by ethnic conflict. The causes were complex and many of the tensions long predate his term in office. But his government was slow to react, and at times appeared more concerned with its public image than with tackling the spiralling humanitarian crisis in the country’s south. For several months it blocked aid from reaching shelters for the homeless, and forced people to return against their will to areas that were not yet safe. This contributed to more violence, as well as starvation.

Read more: The Economist »

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Just like Obama, I guess he was awarded the peace prize in the hope that he will NOT wage a war. Nobel Prize is not Noble anymore. Recently, there are many cases like this that majority do not agree with and are suspected to be bias and favoring one group or institution. Human nature is envious, parochial and quarrelsome, even Jesus, Buddha, Mahatma Ghandi any of these have an incomplete record as far as the popular vote goes

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed awarded Nobel Peace Prize'A peaceful, stable and successful Ethiopia will have many positive side-effects, and will help to strengthen fraternity among nations and peoples.' Beautiful. Maybe never realdonaldtrump I farted! He can teach realDonaldTrump a thing or two

Nobel peace prize awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed: Live updatesJUST IN: Ethiopia’s peacemaking Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed takes the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize award. He pursued an audacious deal to end his country's 20-year war with Eritrea. When will President Trump be accepting his award? trump was robbed yet again...he makes the bestest piece.....

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Nobel Peace Prize Awarded Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy AhmedEthiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work toward ending a two-decade-long conflict with neighboring Eritrea and opening up peace talks with local armed rebel groups. Kashmirbleed freekashmir's KashmirUnreported KashmirBleedsUNSleeps HitlerModi FacistIndia LetKashmirSpeak ImranKhanVoiceOfKashmir BanOnIndia Stone cold Steve Austin is on that coin steveaustinBSR As predicted by slickenteur. Must follow her folks, she does brilliant political, market and geopolitical analysis. Read her articles. All her predictions and analyses have been on point and always accurate. Incredible stuff.

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Who Is Abiy Ahmed, The 100th Person To Be Awarded The Nobel Peace Prize?Abiy Ahmed Ali was recognised by the Nobel Committee for his work to end a 20-year military stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He is the Ethiopian prime minister, who has introduced drastic changes for the good of Ethiopia and its citizens. Not only that. He brought to an end a border conflict with Eritrea, and which has been running for at least 20 years. A visionary leader with an improbable task of uniting Ethio and the horn of Africa good luck with the future AbiyAhmedAli